Getting desperate….

The Independent and now Unlock Democracy have been carrying pieces drawing attention to some peers who have not declared some interests or who have claimed expenses despite having a poor voting record.   This, they contend, makes the case for reform of the House of Lords.  They seem to think that this logic is somehow compelling.  I was under the impresssion that this made the case for reform in terms of changing and/or enforcing rules.  Silly me.  It appears that it actually makes the case for an elected second chamber.  Fancy me not realising that once one has elected members they will not be making inappropriate expense claims or otherwise behaving inappropriately.  Oh, hang on…..

About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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5 Responses to Getting desperate….

  1. Peter Hardy says:

    Perhaps they do have a point, perhaps we should get rid of elected politicians full stop and instead have the governing agenda directly fed to the civil service from electronically facilitated referenda and checked by the Lords?

  2. maudie33 says:

    Indeed, hang on is right,.as you say, Lord Norton, why have you not been exposing the fraudulent expenses claims, et al, and throwing the criminals out when proven? Rather than cover, as far as possible, the iniquitous deeds of the corrupt?

    Had that been done swiftly and all made to pay back every penny, as well as no longer allowed into the big red chamber, perhaps it wouldn’t have gone a quite so far. However, the public now feel these peers unworthy and should be ousted completely, as it is seen as ‘them all being in it together.’.

    • Lord Norton says:

      maudie33: They were required to pay back the money and the Steel Bill, to provide for the expulsion of any peers who commit a serious criminal offence, received an unopposed Second Reading at the end of last month.

      • maudie33 says:

        Ah, but the Lords idea of a serious criminal offence is overcome by ‘there but for the grace of God go I,’ and they decide because of the connection the offence is not that serious at all.

        You know only too well the situation of the £125,000 pounds stolen by a Lords member claiming certain perks and only returned when a ‘friend’ decided to cough up a year or two later. Yet, when it is an ordinary man or woman, as in the riots offences, jail is the chosen method and long to remain incarcerated is the cry for what is often considered a mild misdemeanor.

        A ‘them and us’ law doesn’t pacify the voter.

      • Lord Norton says:

        maudie33: It is not a matter of us deciding for ourselves. The Steel Bill is designed to bring the Lords into line with the Commons.

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